Real Estate Market

Featured Listing

Featured Listing

For Sale: $245,000

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Highlands County Market Trends

Don't Damage Your Market Value

If you are thinking about selling your home before too long or really at any time in the future, you will need to make sure you aren’t doing anything that might negatively affect the market value of your home. Many things can have an impact on your value and some of them you might not realize.

Deferred Maintenance
This can have a significant impact if you ignore things for too long. You put off taking care of simple things to save money or time, and those small things can add up over time. Ignoring things like overgrown trees and bushes that are brushing the house or the roof and a rotting piece of trim on the house can add up if you allow them to cause damage that then has to be repaired. Through deferred maintenance, what could have been a simple fix
over time costs more and may require a professional. Take care of issues quickly when you notice them before they cause bigger problems.

Renovation Choices
We all have personal tastes and that is one of the greatest parts about owning a home is the privilege to make your own choices about how you want your home to look. It is important to remember that all homes will eventually belong to someone else. If you don’t plan to stay in your home but a little while, avoid updates that may be hard to change or things that are very unusual like a built-in bowling alley.

Many homeowners have pets
,however, without a doubt, pets can leave lasting marks on your home. From carpet stains to hardwoods scratched by claws, pets can cause significant damage even if they are well behaved.

Curb Appeal
Curb appeal at your home is so important and is something you need to constantly take care of. Homes and yards that look appealing at first glance will have a higher value than those that look run down and like they haven’t been taken care of. This is about more than flowers and your yard. A first glance at your home will allow someone to see the front of the exterior, the mailbox, front yard, driveway
 and possibly even more depending on how your home is positioned. All of these items should be attractive to those that drive by. Keep the exterior of your home fresh and clean, your yard neatly trimmed and your flowers fresh and seasonal.

All of these items can detract from your home’s value if you let them. Regular attention to these areas will ensure you aren’t surprised by anything when you are ready to sell your home.

Call me to discuss your specific situation and what is best for you.

Save Money in the Long Run with These Home Upgrades

When you own a home, there are many things that will cost you money, and it can be tough to know what upgrades will be beneficial to your home both while you own it as well as down the road when you are ready to sell. We don’t have a crystal ball, so it’s impossible for us to give you an exact answer that will tell you what to do and when. If you want to determine which home upgrades will be best for you, think about prioritizing them by the amount of money they will save you in the long run. Consider these five investments in your home if you are taking a long-term approach.

1. New fixtures in your kitchen and bathrooms. Low flow faucets and shower heads can drastically reduce the amount of water you are using. Less water usage will decrease your water bill. You can probably make most of these switches yourself or with a good handyman so it won’t cost you significant money before you begin recognizing savings.

2. A programmable thermostat can make a big difference in your energy savings. These thermostats can be purchased inexpensively and allow you to program your thermostats to adjust the temperature at times you aren’t usually home, so you aren’t using excess energy when you aren’t there.

3. Ceiling fans can be easily installed, and there are many inexpensive options available. While a ceiling fan won’t replace your air-conditioner, the circulation of air in your home can make things much more comfortable without you having to change your thermostat. Regular ceiling fan use may allow you to increase the number of days you can go without turning the air condition on and every day means extra money in your pocket. Change your fan direction between seasons to help push the air in the most beneficial direction.

4. Change your light bulbs to CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs). You don’t have to change them all at once but as they need to be replaced, make the switch. While the initial investment will be higher, the energy savings and life of the bulb will make up for the cost over the life of the product.

5. Increase the insulation in your home. Insulation for your home is like wearing a coat in the winter. Extra layers keep your heat in and the cold out. Your home is no different. Adding insulation will reduce the strain on your system (meaning fewer repairs) and reduce the amount of your monthly utility bills.

While all of these changes can make a difference, it won’t happen overnight. Take your time and be patient and you will see results that add up to great savings for you.

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home.




Plan Your Move...
While on the Move

My FREE Mobile App offers a dynamic map of Highlands County Real Estate which offers you customized searches that interest you and so much more.

Click here to download the app now and start looking for your next home. 


Find it in the App Store for Your SmartPhone

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Home

When you are buying a home, there is so much that you will need to think about as you move through the process. You should rely on your agent for lots of advice as you work through the many steps that you will need to go through but here are eight great tips to help keep you on track.

  1. Don’t rush if you are trying to find the perfect house. You may have a specific time frame you need to buy a house in but don’t rush too much if you are looking for your long-term home.
  2. Take the time to complete the necessary inspections on the property.
  3. Base the purchase price of the home on the most recent comparable sales not on what you would like to pay.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of all the professionals you are working with throughout the process. If you aren’t sure about something, take the time to ask and don’t just wonder about it.
  5. Be proactive with handling all of the different things you are responsible for. Work with your lender to get them everything they need as soon as they ask for it, so there is no delay to closing because they are waiting on something for you.
  6. Call your insurance agent as soon as you have a contract on the house so they can get insurance in place right away. When different storms are approaching, insurance companies may put a hold on new policies until the storm passes and often do this in an area much more significant than you might expect. Don’t let not having insurance in place keep you from closing.
  7. Don’t open any new lines of credit before closing. Your mortgage lender will do a final credit check right before closing. Any new lines of credit may change your credit ratios and cause them to deny your loan.
  8. Be realistic with your expectations of the process. It can be a high-stress situation but don’t allow yourself to get bogged down in the process. Keep your eyes on the prize.

Closing on your house will be a great day. Just focus on the end goal and stay in control and you will be in your new home before you know it.

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Client Testimonials

Recommend Without Hesitation

"Maureen helped us in a very difficult situation by providing the local knowledge and contacts to get all the various steps taken care of in order to sell my Step Moms house after she passed. Living in Virginia and having no contacts put us at an extreme disadvantage, but Maureen was able to introduce us to every contractor and workman needed to get the house ready for sale. Very easy to contact and responded to our needs in every situation. I would recommend her services without hesitation."

R. Klein

Made the Process Easy

"A couple of years ago Maureen helped us purchase our home in Sebring. What made it difficult is that at the same time we had to sell our Michigan home. Maureen made the process so easy for us, and our Michigan realtor told us how great Maureen was to work with. She faxed so many documents back and forth for us it was unreal. Maureen hooked us up with a great lender and insurance agent. We were thrilled with how she worked for us, and would highly recommend her to anyone moving into the area like we did."

D. Noble

So Happy I Chose Maureen

"Maureen sold a house for me last summer. I chose Maureen as she is a certified residential specialist. Being from Canada, my Canadian realtor highly recommended I use a CIPS as they would know the tax laws for an international seller. So happy I chose Maureen, she not only is knowledgeable about the foreign ownership tax laws but answered our every concern and the sale was flawless!"




For the uninformed, blogging is hitting the Internet today and making a real impact!

What is a blog? An easy explanation of this is a WEB LOG or a journal on the web. It’s a place where folks can “voice” their thoughts, share ideas, or comment on those of others. 

Highlands County Florida now has such a blog where new items of interest will be posted and comments can be made. Topics range from those related to real estate and community highlights to local events of interest or anything personal or business related that might be perceived as worthwhile information for public knowledge, discussion and/or use. 

It’s even possible to subscribe to a blog of interest and receive text updates on your iPod! Check out the latest updates for the Highlands County Real Estate Blog:   

Thanks for reading my newsletter, and please feel free to forward this email in it's entirety to anyone you feel would benefit from it.    

To UNSUBSCRIBE scroll to bottom and use the link. You will be removed automatically and immediately. Please also ignore this newsletter if your home is listed with another broker. It's not our intent to solicit other brokers listings.





Contact Information

Photo of Maureen Cool, CRS, CIPS, RSPS Real Estate
Maureen Cool, CRS, CIPS, RSPS
RE/MAX Realty Plus
809 US 27 South
Sebring FL 33870
Fax: 863-385-5897

Maureen Cool * RE/MAX Realty Plus
809 US 27 South, Sebring, Florida 33870
Office: 863-385-0077 X215
Direct: 863-873-7243
Fax: 863-385-5897



Maureen Cool of RE/MAX Realty Plus offers real estate services to buyers, sellers, relocation's in the Highlands County real estate area.

Including Polk County, Hardee County, Okeechobee County, Desota County and Glades County.

Whether you are looking for luxury, investment, second home, commercial, bank owned, foreclosures properties Maureen Cool and The Cool Team are your real estate professionals for the entire Central Florida area.

Maureen Cool is your Luxury Home Expert in Highlands County. 
She can assist you with your Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid real estate needs. 



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